SquareSoft: Generations Chapter 2
Legend of the Blade
By Dawn Wilkins
"The face of you, my substitute for love. My substitute for love...Should I wait for you, my substitute for love? My substitute for love?" (Drowned World/Substitute for love; Ray of Light; Madonna)
"What are you aiming at, friend?" Cecil cried.
Evidently the magician didn't conceive him worthy of an answer because he resumed his incantations without a word. He appeared removed from this world of consciousness and material. Sapphire light engulfed him and shot out. Merging with the nightly beams and symbols the air sizzled and screeched with friction. It was an an awesome display of majestic power.
Then everything went terribly wrong.
The light wheeled sickishly. Iridescent crimson light swallowed and mixed with the spell. Like two chemicals of opposing nature they clashed. Suddenly it all dove toward the caster. Comparable to a newly-released corked canister the contents slammed into the mysterious being. He stared at the ethereal energy in unparalleled horror, transfixed, as it nearly shredded his body.
Waves of similar light shot out in all directions. Terra was forced to shield her face against the onslaught. She screamed. Cecil groaned. She longed to comfort him but it required all her strength just to maintain her sanity.
A swift chime and the violent light was finished.
Terra glanced at Cecil. The paladin turned to look at the man whom had exerted this unconventional power. His beautiful eyes were riveted on that unknown man.
The caster stood there a moment, a rigid statue. Then, without an utterance, he collapsed. He landed face down, blood liberated from the confines of a body.
Then she saw it.
It was probably one of the most hideous things she had ever seen. Just beyond the caster's lifeless form was a massive blob of gelatinous matter. Ebony and repulsive, it seemed to have no type of central control and just struck out with tentacles of black slime.
Terra glanced at Cecil. A scream wracked her body as the monster launched it's towering ooze at the strange man. Cecil leapt to intercept it. Swinging a sword of immense power, the blade bit deeply into the disgusting mass.
More flashes poured out. Cecil let out a cry as he dropped the sword. Instantly, the sword was gone. Some of the black substance slid onto the paladin's arm and he gasped, eyes wide in terror.
Without thought she raced to his side. Quickly she weaved a healing spell around the wound and the substance evaporated.
"Thanks," he rasped, "I...must protect that man...I need a weapon...wha?"
Terra had placed the excalibur in his hands. She trusted him to keep her safe.
"The excalibur..." came his awed breathing, "..it's not possible...oh, dear god, it is..."
Whatever it was, the blob was making its way to the man on the ground. Cecil spun on his heel. He dashed into the air and came down with a riptosed, downward cut into what appeared the heart of the creature. It shrieked. Once more light spilled out and the thing sizzled to nothing.
And then silence. Terra released her breath, one she hadn't known she'd been holding.
Cecil glanced at her with a smile of appreciation and something she couldn't identify.
"It's over, I think. The monster is gone."
She could do nothing but smile.
Simultaneously, they gazed at the still figure of the ominous being whom clutched life with a tenacious grip. Terra swallowed. Should she heal him? She wanted to but was it foolish? For all she knew he could have summoned the beast. Or even be a more menacing threat than the monster itself.
Cecil knelt down to the bloody man and swiftly appraised him.
"If he doesn't get help, and soon, he'll die in a matter of minutes." He glanced up at her.
She cringed. "How do we know...he won't...be worse...I...I'm scared." Terra rebuked herself. She was a warrior and such childish terror had no place in her blood.
But Cecil didn't conceive her as being childish. His wonderful eyes softened. "I know he might be dangerous. I can't assure you he won't be. But something tells me he's not an evil man. He was trying to battle that creature, right? I place my faith in this man and his benevolent intentions. Will you do the same?"
Terra nodded her head vigorously. "That makes sense. I'll help. I like healing more than hurting."
"So do I," he repiled with a smile.
Bending over the inert sorcerer, Cecil rolled the body so he faced heavenward. Terra knelt on the opposing side and brushed the man's bloody hair away. She noted his angular face, supporting duo lavender irises. An expansive blue shadow of hair swept his shoulders. He was wearing garments Terra had never seen before. Warrior's garb, though he was no warrior. She swallowed. He appeared as almost as threatening as had the beast.
But Cecil trusted this bizarre man and so would she.
"Ok," the paladin breathed, "Give me your hand. Together, we'll restore this being."
She extended her hand.
Smiling he gripped it. "Relinquish your curative energy into him as I do."
Terra was about to highlight her knowledge of healing but recanted the notion and did as she was bid.
Unified, a lovely cascade of healing power soothed the man. His bleeding ceased and he moved slightly. He was muttering something. Something that didn't sound decent. Not decent at all.
"All right, get back. I don't think he intends to harm us but I don't want you to get hurt from a lack of judgement on my part." Terra immediately stepped a few paces backwards.
Cecil extended his hand to the man, offering a way to rise. He studied the eyes with the question of friendship.
Those ominous eyes came alive. Their complimentary eyebrows drew down. Cecil smiled with sincerity.
He was not smiling when a weapon, that nasty scythe, shot up to menace his throat. Then came the answer, as if that didn't suffice.
Onto Chapter 3: Allies or Adversaries?